Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fruits of my labour

I think it's time for a little update around the house:

I've been attempting to find ways to ensure that the three strawberries that my 16 or so plants produce this year are not eaten by the nesting pigeons in the tree above the strawberry patch. So on Sunday decided to create my own defense system. The words "cobbling together" really don't do the appalling carpentry justice. Let's just say, if any bird manages to get through the chicken wire, it's likely to die horribly, impaled on one of the gazillion nails that "missed" when I was attempting to bash them through. However, if it lasts a couple of seasons, then it's worked (not the bird that is!)

So this is a slightly better piece of joinery! I've made another raised bed. Realising that they are silly money in the shops and I could make one myself for less, this is a really basic bed. I think it will be my lettuce bed next year, but I feel compelled to plant more radishes today after trying the first of our season's booty this morning.

This is all that remains as I had it for breakfast. It is a reminder that, despite feeling like one radish really won't feed the 5000, there is a reason as to "why" I grow lots of veg. Sinead O'Connor basically sang about* why growing your own veg is superior to shop bought ;-) (and if you press the link and you're my age - you'll be whizzed back to late night parties in Becky's house during sixth form years!!)

*okay, so she wasnt' "actually" singing about vegetables - but then I suppose it depends who you dated !

This shot shows the whole of the plot. It's really hard to show how it looks now in comparison to February when I started and it was just an overgrown mass of weeds. I'm really chuffed.

Some rather marvellous bounty all shiny and red - well, okay, a bit green too - but we're holding out for enough mixed berries to make something with on Sunday!
Painted the front door. Now all I have to do is cut back the triffid that is wisteria to ensure that we can actually get in and out of the house and there isn't a Sleeping Beauty's castle situation.

And when it gets cold or rains, I can retreat to my nice fire (I keep showing this don't I?!) and the sunny batik we brought back from Kenya last year that we've finally had framed. The perfect place I think.

As for the rest of the week. It's been a bit of a mixed bag of emotions. I've been frustrated with things going missing in the mail, both things I've sent recently AND stuff that's been sent to me. One of those things was all the important forms that I need to fill in and send back for uni. So I've been printing off ridiculous amounts of paper from websites instead to ensure I have all I need.Of course, the printer hasn't wanted to play ball, so there has been much cursing and wasted paper in the process.

I've then been tracing my medical notes as I need my immunisation records and need them signed.... However, somewhere between leaving the surgery in Edinburgh and moving down here and registering, the notes are "in transit" and that is as much as anyone can tell me. Of course the whole thing could be a bit of a moot point as I doubt my notes of 1973 will show my immunisations, despite the fact that I have a piece of paper with some vaccinations recorded from 1980ish. That's the problem of being a dinosaur!
I'm also finding it hard being a lone parent in the week. It seems so long until each weekend. Then, like happened this week, the electrician stops by to do a couple of things but unearths a plethora of other problems, some of which are dangerous...

I've also discovered that it's highly likely that one of my six weeks of holiday from uni will be changed to suit the school holidays. Which, in a normal year, would actually be great and, from a less selfish perspective is more practical. However, Mr Beehive and I had organised for my mum and dad to look after the kids whilst they were still in school and he and I were going to New York and back to Wilton for my fortieth for a few days. Now that's gotta be kyboshed!

Finally to top the week off, I learned that one of the teachers from the children's old Montessori school in the USA had succumb to cancer. She was only 50 and a wonderful lady. Full of life and vitality. Her youngest is Master Beehive the younger's age. Terribly sad.

On the upside though, a couple of school friends had been making plans behind my back to come to visit me. They  managed to reduce me to (happy) tears this week. I was so excited to get a note in my inbox to say that they were coming with their boys to spend a day with us here at The Beehive. I haven't seen either of them for...a long old time...too long! So that made me feel quite loved and gave me the kick up the arse required. Thanks Lynn and Becks xxx

Learning about Kristen and reading the blog of another of my friend's battling cancer at the moment makes me put everything in perspective. So if you have a few more moments, I'd just like to introduce someone to you:

This is Charisse.

Charisse made me cry the first time I really was introduced to her (seriously, there isn't a reccurrent theme with me and friends that make me cry- honestly!).

Not many of my friends do that. 

She had taken photographs of our children at the Montessori school that we were privileged to watch on a big screen during an parent/teacher evening early in the school year in 2005. In front of me and Mr Beehive was a picture of each of my boys in huge 10ft by 10ft black and white.
Raw, unchanged imagery of the insides of my boys' characters. This woman is SO remarkable that I swear she takes her photos of kids from the inside out. You don't just see the exterior, the blonde hair, blue eyes, you see what they are thinking, how they were learning, what emotions certain things manifest in them.

When I first met Charisse, she had just been undergoing treatment for non-hodgkins lymphoma. All her beautiful hair had come out and she was wearing a scarf. I remember her distinctly because I hadn't even noticed her hair, I noticed her eyes, the laughter on her face and the scarves - she had some cool scarves ;-)

When she was well, she would always be in school with her camera, capturing internal images of our children. Anyone can take a photo, but with Charisse's there is something more to them, something that actually makes you feel that you can reach out and shake the hand of the child in her picture or give them a hug, something that may even make you go home and look at your child in a different light as there is something there that you didn't notice before, something that Charisse and her camera are only let into, rather like being granted permission to step into a child's imagination just for a moment.
When she wasn't taking photos she would be laughing. I can actually hear her laughing even after two years of being away from Wilton. She has such a beautiful face that radiated the love that she has for life, her love, David and her boys.

So, I'm not going to grumble about the paperwork, the missing medical notes, the stupid wires that have been wired up wrong or the fact that during the week I don't have my Mr Beehive with me.

Charisse would use her coined phrase "Wasa" to put everything in perspective.

Wasa means "already done"
For Charisse, the power of this word is a message to her cancer that it is done with, gone. She will fight this and win.
For me, this week, I shall use Wasa to mean that life is what it is and what will be in it, will be. Tomorrow is a new day and yesterday and much of today is already done and there is little if not anything I can do to change it, just work with it.

Next time I have a crappy week, I shall take strength from Charisse, play this song and breathe a few Wasa's out into the air...maybe there'll be enough power in my energy to transmit some vibes to Charisse as well.


No comments: